Forced NSW Council mergers abandoned

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced the abandonment of proposed council mergers, including those that are subject to court challenges.

The decision will affect the Woollahra council’s legal challenge to its forced merger with Waverley and Randwick.

In February, the NSW Government walked away from regional council mergers, saying that municipalities challenging the policy in court would no longer be forced to join.

Ms Berejiklian said the risk of uncertainty during local government elections, scheduled for September 9, left her with no choice.

"I don't want that uncertainty."

Metropolitan local Governments, including Mosman, Willoughby, North Sydney, Lane Cove, Hunters Hill, Ryde, Strathfield, Canada Bay, Burwood, Ashfield, Ku-ring-gai, Hornsby, Woollahra, Randwick and Waverley will no longer be forced to join.

Woollahra mayor Toni Zeltzer claimed it as a “major win for democracy”.

“We have been vindicated,” Cr Zeltzer said.

“We have wasted four years of council time but finally sense have prevailed.”